ONC Drafts Federal Health IT Plan 2024-2030, Calls for Public Comment
ONC Drafts Federal Health IT Plan 2024-2030, Calls for Public Comment

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has made the draft Federal Health IT Strategic Plan 2024-2030 available for public review and comment.

The plan, which extends to the end of this decade, is organized around four key goals to improve experiences and outcomes for users of health IT and the policy and technology aspects needed to support users of health IT and electronic health information.

The comment period is open for 60 days, with May 28 being the deadline for review and comments on the draft plan.

This draft plan emphasizes the importance of equitable integration of health IT in public health sectors and highlights the importance of emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence.

At its core, the draft plan outlines a series of goals, objectives, and strategies designed to guide federal health IT efforts, with an emphasis on scientific innovation and revitalization of the nation’s public health infrastructure.

Central to its vision is the recognition of the key role that policies and technological advances play in ensuring the secure handling of diverse data requirements across all layers of health IT stakeholders.

Emphasis is placed on providing improved patient access to EHI in communities and improving education about health IT capabilities for patients, particularly through mobile devices, along with efforts to promote the use of AI in healthcare.

The report notes that policies and tools must support the rapid and scalable reporting and use of public health data, and efforts must focus on the development, alignment, testing and implementation of data standards to enhance interoperability across public health systems.

Another focus is on advancing forecasting and predictive analytics to enable more effective decision-making in response to epidemics and emerging threats, and improving data linkages to provide health IT users with information, evidence based.

In addition, the report said efforts should be made to strengthen data science capacity and the capabilities of the public health workforce to ensure access to and effective use of EHI.

Once finalized, the 2024-2030 strategic plan will serve as a guide for federal agencies and enable them to streamline resource allocation, synchronize interagency efforts, communicate priorities to private sector partners, and establish evaluation criteria of progress over time.

The evolution of IT and the ongoing wave of digitization in healthcare—from Internet-enabled medical devices to electronic health records (EHRs)—has fundamentally changed the delivery and management of care.

The creation of standardized protocols, exemplified by initiatives such as the United States Core Data Interoperability (USCDI) and International Level 7 (HL7) Rapid Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR), is a critical component of this digital evolution.

ONC is also seeking input on its draft United States Core Data for Interoperability Version 5, along with examples of code sets used by health IT developers and contractors, with comments accepted through April 15.

These standardized frameworks have revolutionized the accessibility, interoperability, and utility of health information, creating an environment where data exchange is not only feasible, but effective.

A recent survey found that more than 88 percent of hospitals are now engaged in electronic transmission and retrieval of patient health records.

Meanwhile, more than 60 percent of healthcare institutions have successfully integrated this information into their EHRs, streamlining clinical workflows and improving patient care.

“The role of health IT and easy access to health data are increasingly important to the administration of public health activities,” Jim Giergis, director of the CDC’s Division of Policy and Standards, said in a statement.

“CDC appreciates how the draft Federal Health IT Strategic Plan 2024-2030 addresses the need to continue advancing the nation’s public health data infrastructure while ensuring it benefits the communities that have most need of her.”

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